Rosberg: “I can still win title”

f1spa_2015_hz_10081Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Fortis

I can still win title despite qualifying wows“. Those are the words of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg but is the writing on the wall for the German?

After out qualifying teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2014, the German driver has found the Brit a much sterner opponent in 2015. He currently trails Hamilton 10-1 on Saturday afternoons, this is the largest gap amongst team mates on the grid.

Toto Wolff has suggested that Rosberg should turn his attention to try ‘getting half of the job done’ on a Saturday afternoon, as this would give him a better chance to add to his current tally of three wins this season, and cutting the gap to Lewis.

Rosberg however does not share his bosses sentiments and that improving his race craft remains his main focus for the remainder of the 2015 campaign as this will be more beneficial.

Well if you look at the first half of the year, I only narrowly missed out. In Hungary there were even times where I was leading the championship. There was not much in it.

“So yes, for sure of course it would help to be in front more often than not, like last year, definitely but then last year sometimes I lacked a bit of race craft and lost out. This year if I keep on going strongly in that area then yeah, I can make it happen even if I am second most the time in qualifying.”

One of the biggest issues facing the cars this season is to overtake other cars, even those with a much greater speed advantage. This was no more evident than at Silverstone, when both Mercedes drivers found themselves stuck behind the Williams pair. Therefore surely this must mean that winning the Saturday battle gives the driver in front the upper hand both on track and with team strategy?

With all Rosberg’s focus on his ‘race-craft’ has it actually been beneficial against his team mate so far this season? Perhaps not because how many times have Rosberg actually come close enough to Hamilton to put said ‘race-craft’ to use?
Nico showed a clean pair of heels to Hamilton in Austria but was that really ‘race-craft’? Fast forward to the Hungarian Grand Prix and we have both Mercedes drivers tangling with others. This was an opportunity for Rosberg to finish significantly higher than Hamilton however in what appeared to be a clumsy move he cur across the front of Ricciardo and ended up finishing in 8th.
The German now finds himself 28 points behind Hamilton and it will be a tough task to overtake the Brit looking at the current ‘head-to-head’ finishing positions; Rosberg trails Hamilton 8-3.
Consider that statistic with Hamilton’s belief that his results (six race wins and ten pole positions) does not reflects his ‘actual pace’.

“I don’t particularly remember as good as year as this in qualifying. Belgium was an incredibly positive feeling to be able to perform the way I did,” he said, referring to his qualifying performance. I don’t think this year’s races have reflected my actual pace, or performance between qualifying and my pole positions so I need to convert more poles to wins. That’s my goal now.”

In the Mercedes camp chairman Niki Lauda also weighed in after Spa saying that the race was an indication of the task currently facing Rosberg. Speaking to the BBC Lauda said it does not look possible to beat Hamilton saying that in Spa the Brit put in “an incredible performance in practice, outstanding performance in the race and at the moment Lewis is unbeatable.”
Finishing off Lauda  said that Spa proved that if Hamilton does not make a mistake in the next couple of races “it will be hard for Nico.” So much for a vote of confidence!
Looking at the lap time analysis done by TJ13 Technical Analyst Tourdog it appears Rosberg has closed the gap on Hamilton, the only challenge now for the German is to get in front of Hamilton at the start. The next round is at Monza and it was here that Hamilton reignited his championship campaign going on a five race win streak and winning six of the final seven races of the season. Could we see Rosberg doing the same?
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16 responses to “Rosberg: “I can still win title”

  1. “could we see Rosberg doing the same” to date Rosberg has only put three consecutive race wins together and one of those was a gift, so if we do the math what do you reckon?

    • Is winning races back to back so important? Vettel won consecutively for the first time at the same race he won the championship. Of course, he could have easily won 4 if his engine didn’t blow up in Korea… but things happen.

      • Well given that he’s in the best car on the grid and the likelihood that the fight for the win will be between him and his team-mate each weekend, yes it is important. And as we saw last season, that’s exactly what won Lewis the championship.

  2. Has Nico not the capacity to focus on both? Does focusing on “race craft” preclude his focus on “qualifying pace”. I find it all a bit disingenuous. Gone are the days of violently different set-ups between Quali and Race.

    In fact, the set-ups between Wet and Dry are barely different nowadays save for a click or two in stiffness combined with a more palatable engine map on exit, a bit more engine braking on entry and maybe a diff adjustment in car at mid corner for the slow stuff.

    You want to be WDC, Nico? Get faster in qualifying and race better.

  3. Nico could do with watching this little item
    https://youtu.be/g7DRKG1zx2g

    That is three laps of a driver just having fun and showing what race craft is and also shows that drs,show tyres and fake green credentials are not needed in our sport…just give the drivers the right drivable tools and you have a show.
    Just as a side note..I enjoyed watching this more than some of this year’s events 😱

  4. Nico, you winning the title? and if you do how than can Lauda justify his chose and spending to the Mercedes board? you winning the title can only happen by a miracle.
    Up to FP2 in SPA Nico was fastest of all, regardless of tyre blow-out and all setbacks, from that point onwards his WO6 had suspension parts and camber changed to well within FIA rules and car set-up and balance likings were taken out of Nicio’s hands, and that was the point when his race was lost.

    • There are no points for being fastest in any practice session or qualifying. I suggest you look up the Jarno Truilli and his train, the man who singlehandedly almost ruined F1 as a spectacle when he drove for Toyota.
      How do you know Rosberg’s car was altered for the worse after P2?

    • “Nico, you winning the title? and if you do how than can Lauda justify his chose and spending to the Mercedes board? “…..

      I take it that you’re talking about what they’re paying Lewis, well I think the fact that he’s the current WDC and on course for a possible repeat, puts that argument to bed.

  5. Theoretically, it is possible.
    Probabilistically, it is unlikely.
    In reality, it won’t happen.

    For the sake of variety I don’t mind being proven wrong, but Hamilton has never been faster or more consistent.

  6. Sounds like he’s given up already – ” I can make it happen even if I am second most the time in qualifying.”

    Looks like even he himself can’t see him qualifying above lewis many times this season…

  7. It would be interesting to see a detailed analysis of this season vs last season to see if Nico is right that focussing on the race is working better for him.

    Granted last season he was ahead of Lewis for part of the season but also Lewis had a few mistakes and bits of bad luck.

    To me, it was a bit pointless last year Nico outqualifying Lewis as he didn’t have the car in the race to defend. Maybe he’s gone too far the other way but then also they have more competition this year than last. If he fell behind Lewis last year he usually finished second. This year he could easily be third, fourth, fifth…

    What he does need is to find a better balance between the two and maybe get 8 or 10 poles in the season and take the fight to Lewis in the race. He has seemed more racy this year than last and has actually seemed on the odd occasion to have the better race pace. However when you can’t overtake even a slow car never mind your team-mate that isn’t a lot of use of in itself.

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